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Nuns take campaign against female circumcision to World Social Forum

 A congregation of Catholic nuns campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya called for more concerted effort to end the practice. Speaking at the ongoing World Social Forum (WSF) in Nairobi, Kenya, the sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), or Loreto Sisters, said the practice is widespread in Kenya, and its eradication is necessary to the restoration of women's sexuality. The nuns are carrying out a nationwide campaign against FGM, which though illegal in Kenya still goes on, mostly clandestinely. "We are training young boys to vow that they are going to marry uncircumcised girls," said Sr Dr Ephigenia Gachiri. The sisters are promoting alternative rites of passage for girls that do not involve excision. Sr Gachiri last year published a book on the subject, titled Christian Initiation for Girls. She told participants at the WSF that the church is a powerful institution that can help curb FGM. Already a number of parishes across the country are involved in awareness creation and provision of alternative rites. The Loreto Sisters are also training community leaders on FGM and offering counselling and skills training to the victims of the practice. Source: CISA